Following a prolonged siege, Jerusalem’s city walls were destroyed. On that devastating day, Jewish homes were ransacked and many were forced to migrate. Robbed of their homeland, all their hopes and dreams for a better future turned into smoke and ashes.
Here they were: people from all over the country clinging to prophet Micah’s words. Desperate, they questioned Micah:
“Look, we have nothing left to give. The only thing left are our children. And since we have no future to offer them, we might as well sacrifice them to God and hope for the best. What else can we do, so that God will take our side? What is it He wants from us?”
To be clear, God hates any form of human sacrifice, certainly child sacrifice. Micah reminded the people of Israel:
“You already know what God wants. He told you what is good. Do what is right, love mercy and walk humbly with your God!”
With their backs against the wall and no place to go, people basically declared bankruptcy before the Lord. In a way, this was Israel’s first step to disassociate themselves from their enemies. Declaring bankruptcy, Israel was no longer in the hands of their oppressors. They put themselves entirely into God’s hands – an example how freedom starts with the right mindset.
Do we need to go bankrupt before we see how much we need God? Hopefully not! We tend to panic when we run out of money and options, and that is understandable. Money rules this planet. Still, not everything can be, or should be, paid for. Do we pay our parents for their services? What price-tag do we put on giving birth and raising a child? It is obvious that we do not charge for the most important things in life. They are being provided. God continues to care for us from crib to deathbed. How do we pay for His care? As much as we paid our parents: Nothing.
Try as we may, we can never out-give God, nor do we need to. He gave us His Son Jesus, and there is no paying for this precious gift either. The only thing God desires – and I believe you have already guessed it: Do what is right, my friend, stay humble and love mercy.